EAST LIVERPOOL - People were lined up more than two hours early for a fresh produce give-away Saturday at the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church.
Larry Sparks, a member of the church's food pantry committee, said people lined up at 8:30 a.m. when the give-away wasn't supposed to begin until 11 a.m.
More than ten types of fresh produce were available, including: potatoes, cucumbers, beats, zucchini, turnips, peppers and onions.
Jane Russell and Larry Sparks organize food during a fresh produce charity event on Saturday at the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church. (Photo by Matthew White)
"There's a great need in this community," Sparks said. "I get more out of this than the people in line. It's great to be able to help."
Sparks said he has noticed a lot of elderly couples, and, more recently, young families accepting the charity.
"We see middle class people, with the economy down the way it is," he said.
"It takes a lot to come to this and we treat everyone with a lot of dignity. Any one of us could be here."
Sparks said he talked with a young man from Florida who had recently moved to the area, and was out of work. "He said he needed help," Sparks said.
"It feels good when people come here and tell you that they're blessed," said Jane Russell, who helped with the event.
Jane Carter, who also helped with the event, said the church was contacted by someone asking if there was a need for clothing. She said the church was able to give away some clothes, most of which were new.
Sparks said the church is also involved in a monthly food pantry, which takes place on the third Saturday of every month.
Sparks said the church has been doing the food pantry for 10 years, and that it has partnered with the Second Harvest food bank for four years.